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The Persuasive Power of Feedback (and how to unlock it for your practice)

Think feedback is just a “nice to have” for your practice? According to Zendesk, 90% of customers who read online reviews state that positive reviews influence their buying decision. Today, patient feedback is a way to not only internally audit and improve your practice, but also leverage your home-run reviews to build your patients’ confidence in their future visits. Patient reviews operate as real, authentic pieces of feedback that influence patient decisions.

Research on feedback: Proof that it works

Patient feedback is persuasive and has a significant impact on lead conversion and patient returns. Brightlocal found that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other patients as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

For practices like South Tampa Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, modernizing their review and feedback processes was essential to building a robust patient experience and increasing their lead conversion.

Even though they had a good overall star rating before prioritizing patient feedback, they weren’t collecting a high number of reviews to increase their web leads. That all changed after moving to text-based review interactions. Since implementing a text-based review strategy using Podium, the practice’s four locations have seen a 2,400% increase in reviews and improved from 110 to more than 1,600 Google reviews. Moreover, today they boast of an overall star rating of 4.9 across all review sites they are managing.

“With the reviews we’re able to collect using Podium, the number of walk-ins that come to us as a result of our reviews has skyrocketed,” said Dr. Joshua Wyatt. “Before, we were seeing maybe 50 to 100 new patients a month. Now, we’re seeing closer to 200.” Reviews and patient feedback are essential for dentist offices to thrive.

How to gather patient feedback: The logistics

Step one: Ask for feedback.

Data shows that if you ask for a review, most of the time, patients are happy to oblige. A survey by Brightlocal showed that 68% of consumer respondents would leave a review for a business when asked.

To increase review input, consider incentivizing employees to ensure success. Over 72% of businesses believe that incentivizing employees has had a positive impact on the number of reviews collected. While giving monetary bonuses based on reviews works well for some businesses, others have seen success by simply recognizing top performers and gamifying, bringing in reviews.

Step two: Send a feedback invite

Assessing patient satisfaction using text-based feedback invites is another easy way to gather input and rich customer insights efficiently. Automating feedback collection allows you to gather and share large volumes of feedback quickly, without burdening your team.

With the help of an automated text review invite before patients leave the office, offices can now reach out to every patient and ensure they leave a review through the review medium of their choice. Note: If you’re already using Open Dental, your account can be integrated with Podium to send out review invitations automatically from Open Dental (here’s how).

“I really like Podium’s platform over others in the market because it makes the review process really easy and fast for our patients,” Dr. Wyatt concluded. “This results in more reviews for each of our practices, and it ends up being convenient for both our staff and patients alike.”

Collecting great patient feedback does take some time, so it’s essential to consider your options when coming up with a plan for execution. Every dental practice has a unique set of needs and resources, so take the time to decide which path is the best, most realistic option for your business.

Step three: Leverage feedback to share wins and correct failures.

Your online reputation has a direct impact on your bottom line. Aside from bringing in more leads, it also significantly improves recruiting and employee retention.

It’s important to shout out wins publicly. When an employee gets their name mentioned in a positive review, please share with the office and recognize the excellent service they provided. Set up regular meetings discussing wins and fails. Try office-wide shoutouts for those who consistently perform.

Harness the voice of your customers

Practices with appreciative leaders bring the best out in their employees. Your employees’ best produce 5-star service. 5-star service creates a good reputation and brings in more leads and a significant impact on your bottom line.

Most dental practices can benefit from investing some time into review and feedback collection. Whether you decide to use a tool to automate the process, outsource the work to an expert, or tackle testimonial collection on your own, find a way to unearth and surface positive sentiment from past customers. It can be a powerful way to win over new patients.

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